"A Living Light"
Independence Day is celebrated in this country. President Reagan called us "a shining city upon a hill." Let us be a shining light to the world.
Living In The Light
A. It is very scary to a person on a computer when they are told their computer has a virus. Sometimes a virus on a computer is caused by a person doing things on the internet that should not be done. Other times, they can slip into our computer through a “back door” of some good web page, game, or something innocent that you are doing. What do you do when your computer gets a virus?
B. Can I ask you about your spiritual wellness? Sometimes I think we take better care of our computers than we do our spiritual life. We run virus checkers, we update drivers, and we clean out junk files all so that our computer will run well. But what about our spiritual life? How much effort do we put into have our spiritual life “run well?”
I. From The Darkness
A. You have probably said, “They are as different as night and day.” Paul uses the same kind of contrast between darkness and light. Paul makes this statement in verses 7-8.
B. Okay, so think about the darkness that we have left. Think for a moment about how your life is different right now than it was before you became a Christians. We often feel like we are not good enough, that our lives are not holy enough or that we still struggle and therefore question if our salvation was real; but let me ask you to think about your repentance. Think about what you have turned away from.
C. You walked away from that filthy life, filthy talk, filthy joking. You know that people who live sexually immoral lives or are filled with greed and covetousness have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ in God.
D. Don’t let Satan fill your mind with all the negatives. When you in faith came to Jesus and allowed your sins to be washed away in baptism as you repented, you went from darkness to light. Don’t let Satan destroy your light by feeding you lies about your salvation.
E. Is it true that the world will die in their sin? YES. Is it truth that they don’t want to hear that? Most of the time, YES. But that is fact. Living a life in sin cuts us off from God and therefore from the inheritance of eternal life. But that is not who you are. That is who you were.
F. I love the way Paul puts it in 1 Cor. 6:9-10. Does that sound like our list that you can read in Eph. 5:3-7? Sure does. And just like he told the Ephesians, he say to the Corinthians (READ 1 Cor. 6:11)
G. Paul tells the Ephesians, “Don’t partner with them.” Instead, “walk as children of light.”
II. To The Light
A. Being a child of God is the greatest blessing you can have. It is greater than good health. It is greater than great fame. It is greater than all the money in the world. Being a child of God defines you. Not your past, but the power of God at work in you defines you.
B. Listen to Peter tell you who you are: (1 Pet. 2:9)
C. I read a story about two brothers who used to steal sheep from fellow villagers and sell them to make money. As happens with many thieves, they got caught. The villagers branded the men on their forehead so that everyone who saw them would know they were thieves. They branded them with the letters ST (means Sheep Thief). One brother ran away and was never heard from again. The other brother was so filled with remorse that he stayed in town and tried to reconcile himself with people. At first the villagers were skeptical and untrusting of the branded man. But He would not let their lack of trust keep him from trying. If someone was sick, the Sheep Thief was there to help in any way to care for the person. If something happened to a person’s farm, the Sheep Thief was one of the first to come and try to help the farmer’s family. Over the years he won the confidence of the people and years later many did not even know what the ST stood for on the branded man. One day a stranger came to town and met this branded man with the letters ST on his forehead. He asked a person in the village what those letters stood for. The villager said, “I don’t know, but I think it they stand for SAINT?”
D. Paul says (Eph. 5:9-10.) Live in such a way that you produce the fruit of light.
E. A couple took their young son with them on a trip to Europe where they visited many cathedrals. When they returned home the little boy’s Sunday school teacher asked him, “Did you learn what a saint is?” He remembered the many stained glass windows which depicted the Christian saints and he said, “A saint is a person who the light shines through.” (source unknown)
III. Return From Darkness Back To Light
A. I have been praying over the years that God will shine His light in the dark places of my heart. I ask God to expose me to the sins that hinder my walk. These words by Paul cause me to pray them again.
B. Paul says (Eph. 5:11-14).
C. Paul calls upon believers who have committed deeds done in darkness to wake up, to rise up from the dead and let the light of Christ shine upon them. How said it is when Christians live a life of darkness instead of the light they once walked in.
D. So I a pray that the light of God exposes me for the sake of my salvation. I want to live with him for all eternity, and that will only happen when wake up, rise up from the death of sin and live in the light of Christ.
A. Tomorrow we celebrate in this country Independence Day. When President Reagan gave his farewell address he talked about “a city on a hill” and said, “…in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”
B. Jesus told the crowds that gathered on a mountain side, “You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hid.” The he said, “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.
C. Paul calls upon us to put those words into action. To walk as children of light. To put aside the filth from our past, to wake up and see the light of Christ. If we can help you to do that, please come as we stand and sing.